We would like to introduce a new political analysis publication called Iraq Regions Survey, which is written by the same analytical team producing Inside Iraq Politics. For those who would like a complimentary copy of the latest issue of this publication, please contact Ellen Pope, Director of Talos through LinkedIn in, or request a copy through the Talos website.
Iraq Regions Survey provides insight in English from Arabic and Kurdish sources on key issues at the nexus of politics and security, with a focus on Iraq’s regions and regional relations. Its contents draw on sources taken from Iraqi, pan-Arab and international sources. It is a publication of Utica Risk Services, a provider of open source insight on the Arab world, and is offered in coordination with Talos.
This Latest IRS Issue’s Top Stories:
▪ Regional Relations: Pandemic-related restrictions at Iraq’s border crossings with Iran have led to major commercial losses among both Iraqis and Iranians, leading to strong pressure to reopen borders despite the raging pandemic in Iran.
▪ Provincial Focus: Parliament’s abolition of the provincial councils plus a parliamentary recess has empowered governors administratively, but they are broke. This follows up from our treatment of the new law in IRS 9. The Covid-19 crisis has empowered governors, including unelected Kirkuk Governor Rakan al-Jiburi, with no prospect in sight for new provincial elections.
▪ Provincial Focus: The struggle for the governorship in Baghdad was reignited by a court decision in favor of the former governor, but Muhammad Jabar al-Atta appears likely to hold on. Despite a favorable court ruling, former governor Falah al-Jazairi has been shunted aside.
▪ Provincial Focus: Ninawa Governor Najm al-Jiburi has settled into office, but he faces political attacks from a Ninawa MP and more serious problems with no money to rebuild.
▪ Provincial Focus: Basra protests have sputtered to a crawl due to the combined impact of a security crackdown, modest material concessions, political divisions and Covid-19 restrictions. Governor Asaad al-Idani may have two or more years ahead of him in office with no elections in sight, but measures used to contain the protests are such that renewed waves will surely come.
▪ Provincial Focus: Najaf protests evolved into street fights which have left state credibility in tatters. Governor Luay al-Yassiri’s short-term alliance of convenience with the Sadrists to suppress protests only led to blood in the streets. Baghdad tried to intervene but was ineffectual.